Posted: Tuesday, Apr 19th, 2022
We LOVE our Visit Ventura Volunteers
A pilot, a college professor, a former Rolling Stone columnist.
Yes, it is National Volunteer Week, shining a light on the people who inspire us. So what better time to acknowledge Visit Ventura’s incredible team of volunteers. And yes, Visit Ventura’s volunteers deserve every inch of the accolades bestowed upon them. Why? Because when it comes to our 18 volunteers, you’ll find a smaller talent pool on American Idol – their calling cards include, among other things, pilot, emergency room nurse, artist, a former Rolling Stone columnist, a naturalist, and a college professor – and they provide those talents, and a host of others, for free.
What does it take to be a Visit Ventura volunteer?
Our volunteers do everything you might imagine — answering phones, answering questions (some questions, impossible to imagine), organizing anything and everything — and plenty you can’t. They are a treasure trove of all things Ventura. Some have lived here all their lives. Some of their families go back several generations. Their knowledge is extraordinary. Outdone by only their willingness to help. With anything. There’s a volunteer who comes in once a month just to dust and catch up on gossip (No, she doesn’t make house calls).
Plain great family fun.
But maybe most important, they’re plain great fun. They come in for their shifts dancing. They come in pumping their arms overhead. They come in wearing floral shirts that would make the colorblind cry. A few are business-like. Many are less so. Each has their own signature stamp.
As Marylss Auster, our President & Ceo, diplomatically puts it, “We kind of have all these weird chimes go off when the different volunteers come in.”
And we are oh-so-grateful for every day, and every volunteer. Between them, our volunteer team donates over 2,000 hours a year.
Marlyss can only shake her head.
“Over two thousand hours. That’s amazing. We couldn’t do it without them. They lay out that Ventura welcome mat, that special Ventura vibe.”
Michele Foster, our Office Administrator, first came to the Visitor Center as a volunteer. She was wise enough to know what she had found.
“I found a sort of family,” smiles Michele. “And the heart of that family was the volunteers.”
Ring those cowbells.
Like anything true and good, it’s hard to put our volunteers to words. So a small example. Just this very minute, a volunteer wandered over to Michele’s desk. For the better part of an hour he had been diligently bent over boxes, accompanied by much clinking.
Poker-faced, he regarded Michele.
“Only 431 cowbells to go,” he said.
And then a big smile.
Next minute there will be something else.
How can you put a proper thank you to that?
Interested in joining Visit Ventura’s fabulous volunteer team?
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